July 7, 2017

Gary North versus Bionic Mosquito

By In C.Jay Engel

Well this is juicy.

I republish many Bionic Mosquito articles. I’ve enjoyed correspondence with him over the years. His real name is Jonathan Goodwin and he has been around the libertarian movement for some time.

Recently, he wrote a fictional post, found here. It was a hypothetical about a nearly ideal “propertarian” community and how they solved a property rights situation in a peaceful way. He wrote it in the first person.

Gary North read it. He thought it was a true story. He wrote up an article about it and put it on his site.

Then he found out, per BM’s follow-up post, that it was a fictional account.

Now North is angry, and likely embarrassed– the former because of the latter.

North writes:

The anonymous editor of the Bionic Mosquito has crossed the line. I will never trust him again.

He made up a story about his community. In my summary of it, I said it sounded amazing. I had never read anything like it before. Well, there was a reason for that: the article was a hoax.

I suppose he thought he was clever. He is not clever. He is a willful deceiver. He betrayed his readers without qualms. He also betrayed the people who gave him publicity and helped him build his site.

Now he finds that his hoax has multiplied. This seems to come as a surprise to him. It shouldn’t. He was trusted.

Bionic Mosquito is open about his name– Jonathan Goodwin. He’s not trying to deceive anyone, those who read him consistently recognize his writing style. At any rate, it seems petty of North to get so worked up about it. He doesn’t know Goodwin, as he admits, and there’s no reason to assume Goodwin was planning a hoax. It was a parable.

Kinda humorous, if you ask me.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com
  • bionic mosquito

    Jay, thank you for noting this.

    Other than North, I have not had a single comment about feeling “betrayed.” Even those who first thought it was a true story thereafter found reasons to appreciate the post – even reasons I did not think of when I was writing it.

    PS, you need to write more. I miss your work.

  • redking

    The whole thing is ridiculous.

    Is Gary North now part of the “call out culture” in which people are willfully misunderstood and witch hunted 24/7?

    All North needed to do was ask for clarification. Why is that so hard?

    • Grove

      LOL just found this. Gary North is extremely intelligent. However, as others have noted, he is also a religious fundamentalist and in my experience those sorts tend to lack a sense of humor in an almost autistic way. The parallels with SJW “call out” culture are real precisely because SJWs are the zealots of our age; North is just a throwback to the SJWs of 1690s Salem.

  • Blank Reg

    North is an extreme religionist, who once wrote a 20-volume “Economic Commentary on the Bible”. Let that sink in. 20 volumes. He thinks NASA should be completely defunded because if they ever find so much as a single living microbe on Mars, Europa, or someplace else, his religion, and everything he has believed in for 75 years, will be utterly shattered.

    I’m rooting for NASA.

    • Dr. Weezil

      Actually, he thinks NASA should be defunded because it wastes money and likely won’t ever find anything.

      • redking

        Yeah, but he thinks that because the Bible tells him there is no microbes on other planets.